University of California

Thanks, guys, for your rendition of "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"

Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Thanks guys, for another rendition of that same-old/same-old Country favorite, "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"(the Trans-Pacific- Partnership version). Thanks for all the bribery and corruption enabling  our cowardly, venal and crooked members of Congress to vote to blind themselves from what's in the trade agreement.  Thanks for all the lies and corporatist "rules" of secrecy. Thanks for helping further close the American mind -- what's left of it -- for your profits. Thanks for shrugging your shoulders about Global Warming. Special thanks in advance for all the jobs this trade "agreement" will cost the US -- surely many entrepreneurs and dues-paying members of the Chamber of Commerce will arise from all that involuntary leisure.  Thanks for your treason, all bunted up in the red, white and blue.

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The pope and the water gurus

Submitted: Jun 23, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The world's water challenges are technical, economic, political, and social issues, but the Vatican Encyclical reminds us that ultimately they are ethical and moral issues as well. This is a valuable and timely reminder. -- Dr. Peter Gleick, Huffington Post, June 18, 2015

 

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Finest young minds confront California drought

Submitted: Jun 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences recently developed a tool to quantitatively evaluate these water management options. Working with the Nature Conservancy, we designed the model to assess strategies for restoring populations of native fish on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River. -- Jenny Ta, Joshua Viers, California Water Blog, June 14, 2015

 

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The astro-buzz, colony collapse disorder and other discontents

Submitted: May 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We have come to use the term "astro-turfing," derived from plastic grass replacing real turf on playing fields and lawns, to describe various types of propaganda from political campaigns or corporate public relations campaigns (if they can be distinguished).

This posting compares one of doubtlessly many similar articles propagated by Monsanto and other pesticide manufacturers  to demonstrate their love and care for bees, and the horrifying statistics of Colony Collapse that plod down the years like the footsteps of doom itself.

 

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Hogwash, flattery and 2 million acre-feet

Submitted: May 07, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Politicians striking poses in the face of natural disaster is older than the pharaohs. It is easier to imagine a tree falling unseen and unheard in a forest than it is to imagine a disaster without politicians crawling all over it flattering their own efforts and the strength of "their people."

"Heck of a job, Brownie"...etc.

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Water, the state,the city and UC Merced

Submitted: Apr 12, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 • Several central San Joaquin Valley communities may be required to conserve 35% of their residential water use under proposed state conservation goals. -- Robert Rodriguez, Fresno Bee, April 8, 2015

In Merced County, both Merced (279.6 gal. daily per-capital home water use) and Los Banos (228.2 gal.) will be asked to reduce water use by 35 percent by the State Water Resources Control Board.

We don't know what the problem in Los Banos is but suspect it is related to its development as a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.

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"Moving forward"

Submitted: Mar 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We've been stunned by the drought and responses to it locally and at a state and national level. Environmentalists have been warning about how farmers have been over-drafting the aquifer in the Central Valley for decades and have been snubbed and demonized for mentioning it, as if we were not citizens and members of the same society that landowners and urban businessmen are. They don't even have to bribe elected officials anymore; social elites spring up overnight around wealth in new industries, whose "leaders" get what they want and they always want more water. Elected officials and educators -- from kindergarten to UC Merced -- babble on constantly about leadership. And they all use that one phrase, growing more absurd by the day: "We've got to move forward."

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Drought dementia 2

Submitted: Jan 30, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The drought has revealed that all the government and hydrological science available is not going to put California water policy back together again. It is like submitting Humpty Dumpty to exhaustive scientific studies of the tensile strength of egg shells and the heights of walls. As long as the king and his men keep growing, it will just get worse.

The total effect of groundwater regulation and associated increased expenses is going to be to put Valley agriculture 100-percent in the pockets of irrigation and water districts and federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over surface waters. The template has been in place for decades, but this will cause even more concentration of land ownership in the hands even fewer, richer growers. This neo-feudal system of agribusiness is so overwhelming that no new ideas or leadership can be generated from within it. Perhaps the bill by the two congressmen from north of the Bay Area at least won't add to the destruction. -- blj

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Solar patches

Submitted: Jan 29, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

We join the writer of a letter recently published in the Merced Sun-Star in welcoming a genuine "Fortune 250" energy corporation, NGR, to Merced County.  We couldn't imagine anything as exciting short of news that Occidental Petroleum was opening a local office to manage it fracking wells. We are particularly joyful  to see that this authentic renewable energy corporation calls its plantations of solar panels "gardens" instead of the clunckier "parks." used by a German-based transnational solar corporation to describe its plan to put 1,400 acres under  glass on the west side.

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Drought dementia

Submitted: Jan 27, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Agriculture is of great economic value in Merced County. With average age of 29, six years younger than the state average, there just aren't many people in the county who remember when there was a large population of small farmers, less than half the total population of today, and harvesting was a community event with help from migrants. Today, farmers are few, the only survivors were the beloved of their bankers, and farm labor was criminalized in the mid-Sixties.

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